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Test Confirms Zika Virus in an Iowa Resident

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Test Confirms Zika Virus in an Iowa Resident

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced that an Iowa resident has contracted the Zika virus while traveling to Central America. Authorities say the female is between the ages of 61 and 80. Her name and hometown aren’t being released.

“The general public is not at risk of contracting the virus, because the mosquitoes that transmit Zika are not established in Iowa,” said Dr. Patricia Quinlisk, IDPH Medical Director. “However, Iowans traveling to areas where there is ongoing Zika virus transmission should take care to protect themselves from mosquito bites.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is currently advising pregnant women to delay travel to foreign countries where Zika is being transmitted. Experts are investigating the potential link between the virus and a serious birth defect known as microcephaly. Since the virus can also be transmitted sexually, the CDC is recommending that if your male sexual partner has traveled to or lives in an area with active Zika virus, you should abstain from sex or use condoms. 

The CDC shows that Illinois has reported four cases of travel-related Zika, while Wisconsin hasn’t had any known reports to date. In all, there are travel-related cases in nearly two dozen states. The Zika virus is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week. Many people exposed to the Zika virus won’t develop any symptoms at all. There is no current vaccine or treatment for the virus.